Rachel Ann Austin
People often ask how I got started. It's actually a roundabout story about following what you really love to do.
In 2001, I graduated with a degree in Management and Finance. In college I took one drawing class as an elective and loved it but didn't really think about it much more than that. One day the head of the art department stopped me in the lunch room and told me that I really had a gift and that it was my responsibility to use it. I was surprised by the boldness of that statement, he wasn't even the professor in my drawing class. It stuck with me as I worked office jobs after graduation and as I began painting after work as a hobby.
After a few years, I took a job at a local art supply store in Portland and I got my art eduction as I learned about art materials and supplies. There I started showing some of my paintings. At my first show, an employee group show in the store, I sold my first painting. I was so giddy and excited that a stranger liked my work that I wrapped up the wrong painting. The woman had to come back the next day and exchange the piece for the one she actually wanted.
Eventually I started making enough of a steady income that I decided to pursue art full time. For the last ten years I've been doing what I love and growing my business. I work at home in a basement studio that is often visited by my six year old Adelaide and crazy, but sweet dog Loretta. My husband, Jon, was instrumental in encouraging me to go into art full time and often helps me fold cards for orders late into the night. Sometimes it is stressful and hard to own your own business and paint for a living, but I love what I do.
As seen in and on:
Sets of Parenthood, Portlandia Season 3 & 5, Grimm and a handful of commercials